Four Winds South Bend upgrades gaming, spotlights expansion

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The Pokagon Band and its Four Winds Casinos have agreed with the State of Indiana to expand Class III gaming at its South Bend Four Winds Casino.  The approval clears the way for expansion and upgrades of slot machines and table games at the South Bend facility.

Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb joined Four Winds management and Pokagon leaders at a ribbon cutting today, as construction continued on Four Winds South Bend expansion which includes the construction of a 23-story hotel tower with 317 rooms, including 83 suites.  There will also be a spa, convention area, meeting space, a ballroom, lounge, bar & grille, an outdoor roof-top swimming pool, and terraces with spectacular views.  Construction is expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2023.

Frank Freedman, Four Winds Chief Operating Officer commented on the Class III gaming improvements and casino expansion:

“Four Winds Casinos have been ranked among the best gaming destinations in the country and we believe the addition of table games and popular Class III slot titles, combined with our 23-story hotel tower and several other amenities currently under construction, will bring the guest experience at Four Winds South Bend to another level and deliver on the premium resort-style feel and amenities you’ll find at other top resorts including Four Winds New Buffalo.  We are very excited for this next phase of development and appreciate all of the hard work and dedication of all Four Winds employees to help us reach this important milestone.  We are excited and can’t wait to show everyone the finished product once construction is complete.”

Matthew Wesaw, Tribal Council Chairman of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians and CEO of the Pokagon Gaming Authority, said,

“Not only is Class III gaming in Indiana a historic and important milestone for the Pokagon Band and our Four Winds Casinos, but the expansion of Four Winds South Bend will create numerous additional economic benefits with the State of Indiana and the City of South Bend.  We’ve also created hundreds of temporary constructions jobs, approximately 100 permanent new jobs to support our ongoing operations, and an education program for our Pokagon Citizens to attend state funded institutions of higher education, including 2 and 4 year colleges, plus trade/vocational schools with all expenses covered.  It’s a great day to be Pokagon and we are very excited for what the future holds.”

Four Winds South Bend now offers 16 table games including 21 + 3w/Top 3, Lucky Lucky Blackjack, Baccarat, Craps Bonus, Roulette, Bonus Spin Criss Cross Poker, Progressive Stud, Progressive Three Card with 6 card, and Aruze Roll to Win Craps.  Table games are open from 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. Eastern time, seven days a week.

The installation of popular Class III slot titles is currently underway with some of the most popular games already available including Action Video Poker, Buffalo Link, Dragon Link, Money Link, Dollar Storm, Wheel of Fortune, and The Price is Right.  The process of converting all of Four Winds South Bend’s 1,400 plus slot machines to Class III will take several months to complete.

So, what does Class III gaming mean?  The American Gaming Association summarizes it this way on its website

Class I gaming includes social games and traditional/ceremonial games. An Indian tribe can  offer Class I games without restriction.Class II gaming includes bingo and non-banked card games. Tribes do not need to enter into any agreements at the state level to conduct Class II gaming under IGRA. Instead, tribal governments are responsible for regulating Class II gaming with NIGC oversight.Class III gambling includes all other forms of gambling, including casino-style gambling. An Indian tribe can operate Class III games only if the tribe and the state have agreed to a tribal-state gaming compact. After the state and tribe have reached an agreement, the federal government must approve the compact before it is valid.The National Indian Gaming Commission Office of General Counsel reviews games on request by a tribe or a game developer and issues advisory opinions on whether they are Class II or Class III.

An Indian tribe can offer Class II games if the games are generally legal in the state where the tribe is located and adopt a gaming ordinance approved by the National Indian Gaming Commission. Four U.S. states are limited to Class II gaming only: Alabama, Alaska, Nebraska and Texas.

Today’s announcement from Four Winds does not involve the New Buffalo, Hartford or Dowagiac casinos.